We’ve all been there—standing in front of a menu at a restaurant, trying to decipher the names of dishes we’re unfamiliar with. Sometimes, these situations lead to humorous misunderstandings that become the stuff of legend.
One such incident recently went viral, involving a server at a Mexican restaurant and a customer’s attempt to translate a menu item.
“My Father’s Flautas”
Joey Mayberry, a server at a Mexican restaurant, shared a story that has garnered significant attention.
A customer walked in and confidently ordered “My father’s flautas.” Mayberry, puzzled by the request, clarified, “Honey, do you mean the flautas de papa?” The customer agreed, only for Mayberry to explain, “‘Papa’ means potatoes.”
The customer took the mistake in stride, saying, “Oh! Well then I’ll have my father’s potatoes.” Mayberry concluded the story by saying, “She was so nice though.”
The Virality of Restaurant Mix-Ups
This is not an isolated incident. Earlier this year, another story went viral where a customer was upset upon hearing the authentic
Spanish pronunciation of tamales, insisting that the dish was pronounced “tamalees.” These stories highlight the cultural gaps that can exist even in something as universal as food.
The Server’s Perspective
Servers often find themselves in the middle of these amusing situations. One server commented,
“I worked as a server at a Mexican restaurant and the mispronunciation of the menu was comical. I liked to repeat it back and copy them.”
Another server shared a story about a customer ordering the “Donkey on Fire” instead of “Burro en fuego,” leaving the server clueless.
Customers, for the most part, seem to take these misunderstandings in good spirits. Comments on Mayberry’s story ranged from people sharing their own meal-ordering mishaps to others simply enjoying the customer’s positive attitude.
One commenter even exclaimed,
“Father’s potatoes and father’s flautas will forever replace flautas de papas in my vocabulary from now on!”
Another one added,
“uh yes one order of Daddy Flute please”
Cultural Appropriation in the Restaurant Industry
HS Insider discusses the pervasive issue of cultural appropriation in the restaurant industry. It defines cultural appropriation as the inappropriate adoption of ideas or customs of a group of people, rampant in various sectors, including food, toys, and clothing.
Taco Bell is an example, stating that the chain restaurant is built on the appropriation of Latinx culture. It has commercialized Mexican cuisine without giving due credit to authentic recipes and methods.
Conversely, it highlights Guerilla Tacos, a restaurant that exemplifies cultural appreciation rather than appropriation. Chef Wes Avila and his wife, Tanya, founded the restaurant as a taco truck, which has evolved into a successful business.
They offer a diverse menu based on seasonal ingredients, respectfully blending flavors from different cultures. This emphasizes the importance of educating oneself on different communities’ heritage and customs to work against appropriation actively.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter. It was inspired by this video:
@joey.mayberry She was so nice though.
♬ original sound – #DadBodDemiGod
Martha A. Lavallie
Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.